The left’s hypocrisy on race and Charlottesville

Published 10:09 am Friday, August 25, 2017

by Christine Flowers

When President Trump refused to directly and forcefully denounce the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville (and let’s be honest, his denunciations were weak and anemic), progressives around the country went on the rampage, screaming about how he was giving comfort to bigots and shaming Americans with his omissions.

And as they did this, mustering all of the righteous anger of the left, I sat back and smiled. It wasn’t because I was particularly amused at their anger. It wasn’t because I found pleasure in the horrific events that took the life of three innocent people. It wasn’t that at all.

The source of my seemingly sanguine reaction was the unacknowledged hypocrisy of the attacks on those white supremacists, those evil men and women who look upon those who are not white, Christian, and “pure” as mongrels who need to be put down. Those vile bigots should have been annihilated with powerful words by our president, just as they have been annihilated by the liberals who are now pointing critical fingers at conservatives.

But here is the hypocritical part: White supremacists have a lot in common with Planned Parenthood, an organization that was founded by a woman who believed strongly in the value of eugenics. Margaret Sanger supported the process by which the poor, immigrant and “feeble-minded” populations were sterilized so they could not reproduce and create a less than perfect society. Her acolytes now argue that she did so because of her interest in raising the standards and conditions for women. But the truth is far more sinister.

In 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision written by the great Oliver Wendell Holmes, Buck v. Bell. In it, the court essentially validated the eugenics movement championed by Sanger and her peers, holding that “three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

This was in keeping with the Ku Klux Klan’s belief that immigrants (who tended to be overwhelmingly Catholic or Jewish), racial minorities and the poor reproduced at a higher rate than the good white Protestant stock that formed the backbone of the country, and therefore needed to be kept in check.

Abortion wasn’t even an issue then. The hope was to keep the undesirables from reproducing at the outset.

It is shameful that a Supreme Court decision would legalize this racist policy.

It is shameful that Margaret Sanger, under the guise of improving the lives of women, would strongly advocate for this racist policy.

And it is shameful that progressives, who justifiably rail against the poisonous bigots unleashed in Virginia last week, ignore their own hypocrisy in supporting an organization that is only three degrees of separation from those tiki torch-bearing monsters.

Of course, this is something that the good and moral progressives marching down Broad Street this week would probably reject. This is something that the people clamoring for the statue of Frank Rizzo to be torn down would vehemently deny.

This is something that would be called “deflection” by the evolved men and women who are quick to attack the president for his tragic moral tone deafness (they are right to do so) but which is also an example of the hypocrisy borne of tunnel vision.

Progressives have been lecturing me for years about how I abet bigotry in pursuing a conservative agenda. They are uniquely and consistently unable to see their own moral W when they argue for the rights of the dispossessed (immigrants, sexual minorities, racial minorities) but ignore the common trait they carry with white supremacists, the enemy of all those groups: A willingness to play God.

Those pimply-faced youth marching in the streets of Charlottesville with their barren hearts and their ugly mouths believe that some members of society do not belong among us. Those members are to be “eliminated,” usually by violence. It is a philosophy that has been given permission to flourish, and I would agree with the liberals on the point that this administration has given unfortunate encouragement to those groups with the president’s pale criticism.

But I would also argue that the last administration, and the Democratic administration before it had no problem whatsoever supporting Planned Parenthood which, in its own nihilistic way, places the value of some human lives below that of other, visible lives. In ignoring both the founding principle of this organization and its eugenic roots, it is easy for progressives to turn abortion into a virtue and a moral necessity.

But closer examination shows just how much common ground is shared between people who hate “the lesser beings,” and those who simply refuse to give dignity to lives they cannot see.

I know that many readers will take umbrage at the comparison, and dismiss these claims as the ravings of a mad bigot.

But the truth is stark and unavoidable, like the evil reflected in the faces that marched through Charlottesville.

CHRISTINE FLOWERS is an attorney and a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, and can be reached at